MoAD | Fact Sheet

The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) showcases the history, art and the cultural richness that resulted from the dispersal of Africans throughout the African Diaspora through innovative and engaging exhibitions, education and public programs. By realizing its mission MoAD connects all people through our shared African heritage. Incorporated in 2002 as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, MoAD opened its doors in 2005 in space contiguous with the St. Regis Hotel and Residences and in the historic Williams Building at 685 Mission Street at Third. MoAD was conceived as a cornerstone of the economic and cultural revitalization of downtown San Francisco and has become an anchor with its neighbors the San Francisco MoMA, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Zeum, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in making this dynamic cultural corridor a premier cultural destination. MoAD receives private and public donations and is supported in part by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency as well as local and national foundations, corporations, businesses, and by its membership and Board of Directors.

Visitors of all ages can explore cultural traditions in an immersive, interactive environment that blends art and innovative technology with the African tradition of storytelling. The permanent exhibitions are designed to tell the story of the origins, migration, adaptation and transformation of the cultures and the cultural beliefs and practices of African descendants through seven displays: The Origins of the African Diaspora; Celebrations: Ritual and Ceremony; Music of the Diaspora; Culinary Traditions; Adornment; Slavery Passages; and the Freedom Theater.

A rotating schedule of primarily themed-based touring or in house generated exhibitions that feature art works and artifacts borrowed from the collections of local, national and international museums and distinguished private collections. Exhibitions feature broad themes that are intended to challenge, explicate, generate curiosity, and encourage visitor engagement and participation.

Family programs, colloquia, lectures, workshops, interactive demonstrations, film screenings, gallery talks, school and adult tours, book readings, dance, music and theatrical performances, among a broad and varied menu of multidisciplinary programs that educate, entertain, enrich and challenge our audiences of all ages and backgrounds. History, oral history and heritage information and programs are also offered through the Wells Fargo Heritage Center and “I’ve Known Rivers” (IKR), The MoAD Story Project, a groundbreaking digital project which gathers stories from the Diaspora and makes them available online to MoAD’s global community.

Programs for elementary, junior high, high school and college students within the region, including special needs students and their teachers, including exhibition specific curriculum; professional development educator’s workshops; a core curriculum on the African Diaspora for students in grades 6 to 12 and their teachers; school group tours; a vocational preparedness training program that provides practical, skill-based training in digital media to youth from schools in underserved Bay Area communities.